Four D.C. public charter schools are in danger of being closed at the end of this academic year, after they received precipitously low rankings in a new rating system released Dec. 6 by the charter school board.
D.C.'s public charter school board designed the new system to classify
approximately 70 charter schools based on their academic performance. The evaluation system measures scores schools based on multiple factors including test scores, academic improvement and attendance. It could have severe consequences for the lowest-scoring schools.
The schools have been categorized into three tiers based on a 100-point scale. Thirty percent of the schools received between 65 to 100 points
and are considered the best charter schools in the District.
Approximately half the schools fell into the second category, which means
they met minimum overall standards. The lowest 20 percent are in the
third tier, meaning they received 34 points and below.
Four schools in
that category received less than 20 points, which means the board may
close them at the end of this academic year. Community Academy Public Charter School - Rand campus, Options Public Charter School elementary and high schools, and Maya Angelou Public Charter School - Shaw campus, are the schools that scored in the danger zone.
"The PMF evaluates schools in a very fair and objective and transparent
manner," says Brian Jones, chairman of the Charter Board. "The idea is we really do want to want to shine a light on what's
happening in our charter schools."
While the system looks primarily at academic measure, it does not take financial management of the school into consideration. which is one of the main reasons charter schools fail. Charter board leaders say they will continue to monitor that, but for simplicity's sake, only included academic measures.
There are approximately 30,000 students in D.C.'s charter schools.D.C. Public Charter Schools By Tier